Imperial Assault Nationals Report: Tournament

Hello everyone! Last time, I covered all the preparation and events that led up to the Imperial Assault National Championships (you can find all that here). This time, we’re gonna get into the business end of it and talk about each of the games that I played on the day, as well as what I learned as I played through my first competitive tournament.

Again, just in case you didn’t see the previous article, here is the list that I played:

Fuzzy Friends

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Deployment Cards

Regular Wampa (5)
Elite Nexu (6)
Bantha Rider (9)
Regular HK Assassin Droid (8)
Greedo (4)
Gideon Argus (3)
C-3PO (2)
Temporary Alliance (1)
Beast Tamer (1)
Devious Scheme (1)

Command Cards

Crush (3)
2 Jundland Terror (4)
Wild Fury (2)bantha-rider
Grisly Contest (2)
Survival Instincts (1)
Ferocity (1)
Negation (1)
Primary Target (1)
Disorient (0)
Planning (0)
Take Initiative (0)
Opportunistic (0)
Urgency (0)
Element of Surprise (0)

 

I waited anxiously for the first round to begin, fiddling with the map pieces I’d brought along with me and constructing them so as to remember what they look like. When the first round was called to start, I gathered up my box and hurried over to prepare to get schooled.

*I apologise in advance for the lack of photos, except for the finals; there weren’t too many of me, and I certainly wasn’t taking photos of myself*

Round 1 vs Steve (Constant Motion)

General Sorin w/Advanced Comm Systems (9)
Regular HK Assassin Droid (8)
2 Elite Probe Droid (10)
3 Regular Prole Droid (9)
Imperial Officer (2)
Zillo Technique (1)
Temporary Alliance (1)

Steve was a really pleasant first opponent and put up with me calling the judge around three or four times for rules clarifications. It was very fortunate for me that we were on a map with no locked doors so he couldn’t just auto-focus his whole army; instead, we were playing the one mission I’d actually played before the tournament.

We split our deployments, with Greedo and my Nexu taking on two of his probe droids for control of the terminal in the command room. Meanwhile, the Bantha Rider rampaged through and wipe out both HK Droids before they took a shot, though the Probe Droids focused up and took out the Bantha before they moved on to the objectives. Fortunately, the Wampa, Nexu and HK Droids were able to clean up enough of the army that the points from the mission got me above forty.

Win 1-0

Things I learned in this round:

-The Wampa is pretty good at holding terminals.
-It’s quite hard to set up non-reciprocal line of sight so that Greedo can shoot without getting shot back.
-Die rolls can really let you down sometimes. My opponent’s dice were pretty awful this round, and on more than one occasion, it meant the difference between life and death.

MVP: Bantha Rider

 

Round 2 vs Nathan (One Man’s Trash)

2 Elite Stormtrooper w/Cross Training (20)
Elite ISB Infiltrator (7)
The Inquisitor (9)
Imperial Officer (2)
Rule by Fear (1)
Zillo Technique (1)

Here it was, something similar to the list I was thinking of playing originally. Greedo ran all the way down to take the red terminal, while the Wampa learned how to open doors before he was promptly shot almost to death by a group of Stormtroopers. The Bantha ran in and did some light damage but managed to secure the top terminal, meaning I had card advantage secured for at least the next turn. Ferocity meant that the Bantha shot down a Stormtrooper, but it was quickly reinforced next turn, and the focused shots they took severely wounded the Bantha. It went charging in and did some light damage, but was quickly gunned done by the ISB Infiltrators afterwards, with the Wampa also getting shot down before activating.

Meanwhile, Greedo, the HKs and the Nexu were managing to deal out some decent damage to the Inquisitor (with poor Greedo taking a potshot before he fell), and a bad roll from the Inquisitor meant that his lightsaber bounced harmlessly off of the HK Assassin Droid and he failed to cleave to kill the Nexu. The following turn, the Inquisitor fell and the Nexu went mad with Wild Fury, taking out some ISB Infiltrators and some Stormtroopers, whilst managing to survive thanks to its Survival Instincts.  With the main threats disposed of, the surviving HKs and Nexu were able to clean up what was left of the Stormtroopers and secure me the win.

Win 2-0

Things I learned this round:

-Be careful when you open doors. You tend to get shot at. A lot.
-Jundland Terror can be used after you draw it in the same turn. Pretty important, and would have made the game a little easier earlier on.

MVP: Elite Nexu

Round 3 v ? (I’ve forgotten his name) (Lair of the Dianoga)

Royal Guard Champion (15)
2 Elite Stormtrooper (18)
3 Imperial Officer (6)
Zillo Technique (1)

Continuing the trend of running into Zillo, this round started off pretty much perfectly for me (although Greedo was massacred by some amazing dice rolls from the Royal Guard Champion and a poor one on Greedo’s part).  I managed to wipe out one whole Stormtrooper card before they activated in round two, and he had to spend the entire following round killing the Bantha (literally every activation). The Wampa took command of the red terminal, and the HKs took some shots at an Imperial Officer and the Royal Guard Champion.

The middle of the game saw the Royal Guard Champion butcher one of my Assassin Droids and severely wound the Wampa, with the snow beast handing some damage back before falling. Meanwhile, Gideon and 3PO had taken the top terminal, and the Nexu went wild and managed to fell all the remaining Stormtroopers and leave an Imperial Officer on just a single hit point. The HK soon corrected that, but the Royal Guard Champion rushed in, taking out the Nexu the following turn. It was now a single HK, Gideon and 3PO fighting a Royal Guard Champion on a few hit points.

Seeing both the highs and the lows of the dice, 3PO managed to survive the first attack from the Royal Guard Champion, but Gideon was taken straight out before he could shoot back. 3PO ran to block the Royal Guard Champion for a turn, but ran too close to the Dianoga and was eaten. It was now a HK Droid on a single hit point against the Royal Guard Champion. Things were grim.

The next turn, my opponent made quite an error; he moved but a single square and passed, as he could not attack me. This allowed my HK to move in and shoot (though he did no damage). The following turn, it was my initiative, and in my final desperate shot, the Royal Guard champion rolled a single surge cancel to my huge damage, and he dropped dead before he could finish me.

Win 3-0

Things I learned this round:

-Wild Fury was definitely the correct choice and it’s been amazing on the Nexu for two games straight.
-The Royal Guard Champion is pretty intimidating. I thought I had that game in the bag after the first round, but he just rampaged through my team. I still think he’s a bit overpriced, but I’ve learned not to dismiss those early wave figures.
-I had a real decision to make on the first turn; I could have gone after the Royal Guard Champion, Crushed it, Jundland Terror’d, and then Trampled it the next turn as well. This would have meant I’d have dealt a minimum of nine damage, and maybe even eleven (which would have killed him). Instead, I went straight after the Stormtroopers as that was what my autopilot brain taught me to do. I still feel it was the correct decision, but given how close the game was at the end due to that beast surviving, I’m not so sure. If anything, this made me appreciate the strategy of the game even more.

MVP: Bantha Rider

 

Round 4 v Brendan (Fallout)

2 Elite Wing Guard (18)
Bossk (8)
Regular HK Assassin Droid (8)
Gideon Argus (3)
C-3PO (2)
Temporary Alliance (1)

My first non-Imperial opponent of the day! I was still quite happy to see some troopers on the other side of the table, but focused Bossk could do some serious damage. My Nexu and Bantha tag teamed to take control of the command room terminal, with the Nexu and Greedo taking a savage beating from the HKs and Wing Guards. Bossk ran in to take command of the centre terminal, focused up and ready to blast something dead on the second turn, but the Wampa hungered and surprised the Trandoshan, Disorienting him and causing him to lose focus.

The second turn was a huge swing; my Wampa went straight after Bossk, but he dodged out the way of the attack.

At least, the first one.

Going into a Wild Fury, the Wampa delivered a huge blow to Bossk, and followed it up with Grisly Contest to finish the bounty hunter before he was able to do anything. The Nexu was eliminated afterwards, but the Bantha came crashing in, with Crush and Jundland Terror quickly cleaning up the HKs and the one squadron of Wing Guards. After the huge second turn, it was pretty much all over, and Brendan conceded not long after.

Win 4-0

Things I learned this round:

-I don’t always have to go charging in with the Bantha during the first round; holding off is sometimes better, especially if you don’t initially have Jundland Terror.
-Line of sight is a funny thing, and it pays to clarify things sometimes. I believe I was told this round that line of sight is drawn to any two corners, and I accepted that despite thinking otherwise. As it turns out, I was correct (they have to be adjacent corners), and if I’d called a judge to clarify it, I could have played a bit better. I don’t hold it against anyone, but it was a lesson for me.

MVP: Regular Wampa

 

There I was, at the top of swiss. To say I was surprised would be an understatement; stoked is likely the better term for what I felt. My team had been running hot all day, and apart from a shaky third round, I felt pretty confident in each of my wins. Going into the top eight, I saw a lot of imperial teams, which, given my success against them thus far, was encouraging. However, first I had to get past:

Quarterfinals vs ? (I’m sorry!) (Reprogrammed)

Luke Skywalker (10)
Leia Organa (8)
MHD-19 (5)
C-3PO (2)
Gideon Argus (3)
Han Solo (12)
Heroic Effort (0)

Setting up outside, my opponent left Han Solo behind as he ran to pick up three objectives in the first turn. However, my beasts broke down the door, and using the Element of Surprise, the Wampa managed to severely wound and stun Solo even as he used Stealth Tactics. The next turn, Han tried to run, but the beast caught him and took him down.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team ran to take the terminal and began taking shots at the cowering Rebels, with a very fortunate focused shot from a HK felling MHD in a single shot. Luke and Leia did a number on the Nexu and on the Wampa, but the snow beast managed to crush Leia under a furious assault. Luke managed to do some work on the remainder of the team, and the points were close as he had more remotes than I did, but the Bantha crushed (figuratively and literally) what remained of the Rebel’s hopes in this game.

Win 5-0

Things I learned this round:

-My team really dislikes maps where it is simple to score victory points. Between two non-sentients and no figures I can really spare a shot from, it becomes really difficult for me to contest things, especially those which require interacts.
-Leia is very squishy, and drops quickly. If I play against other Twins lists, I’ll be sure to focus her down.

MVP: Regular Wampa

Semifinals vs ? (I’m really bad at this) (Deception Game)

2 Regular Heavy Stormtrooper w/ Targeting Computer (14)
The Inquisitor (9)
2 Regular Probe Droid (6)
Regular Royal Guard (8)
Imperial Officer (2)
Zillo Technique (1)

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The Bantha seemed like it would be crucial in this matchup in order to get around the Royal Guard and Heavy Stormtrooper auto-blocks. After breaking down the door with the Wampa and HKS, a lone Royal Guard was finished off by the Nexu. The Bantha went charging out and, combined with Jundland Terror, managed to do incredible damage immediately. It was a good start.

While the Bantha soaked up many attacks, the rest of the team got into position and began the task of finding the red token. With constant Reinforcements, the Heavy Stormtroopers proved an issue, and Zillo Technique was at its most efficient on this map. As both our armies began to dwindle, it was up to my lone remaining attackers, the HKs, to take down the final Heavy Stormtrooper and Probe Droid. The trooper fell, and the red token sealed the win for me.

Win 6-0

Things I learned this round:

-The Inquisitor is a solid unit, but not as scary as I had anticipated. While his Cleave 3 is incredible, it’s not excellent against my team, and Greedo loves seeing him on the other side of the table.
-Reinforcements is pretty annoying when it’s played on powerful units multiple times.

MVP: Bantha Rider

 

Finals vs ? (Did you expect I would suddenly get better?) (Lair of the Dianoga)

2 Elite Stormtrooper (18)
The Inquisitor (9)
Royal Guard (8)
2 Imperial Officers (4)
Zillo Technique (1)

And so I was in the finals, again playing against a mighty Imperial army. Playing on the only map I had almost lost on made me a bit worried, especially as this was the last match standing between me and a flight + invite package. I fumbled around a bit and completely skipped the human side of things (which I’m quite embarrassed about). There may have been a lot on the line and it may have been past midnight, but I’m still quite sorry about it. He was cool, though, and we were off.

My opponent opened the door and began unloading blaster fire onto the Dianoga with little success. Interestingly, he also bunched up many of his units; at the end of the round, my Bantha charged straight through (copping a slap from the Dianoga) and landed on top of many units, then promptly Jundland Terrored and eliminated some Stormtroopers and officers thanks to a massive roll. The next round, the Bantha Rider’s Survival Instincts kicked in, and he launched himself at the Inquisitor, Crushing him and again dealing significant damage. The Stormtroopers turned their attention to Greedo, the HKs and the Wampa at the red terminal, while the Inquisitor and Royal Guards took care of the Bantha. Whilst there were some losses down the bottom, the Nexu and Wampa managed to hold their own, and the Bantha survived the round and managed to Take Initiative and Trample the Inquisitor to death before he was able to act in round three.

The Stormtroopers and Royal Guards, battered and wounded as they were, fought on valiantly, but the Nexu and HK-Droid, with the help of C-3P0 and Gideon were easily able to dispose of the remnant, and I found myself with a flight to America again.

The beasts unleashed!

Win 7-0

Things I learned this round:

-On a good draw, the Bantha and corresponding command cards are oppressively good. Due to some good draws, the Bantha was able to survive throughout round two and wipe out the Inquisitor on the first activation of round three.
-I feel like the Dianoga is a trap and, unless both players go for it, it’s not worth the time to kill it.
-BE VERY CAREFUL WITH DOORS: This would have been a very different game if my opponent had just not opened the door initially (at least, I believe so).

MVP: Bantha Rider

 

So seven rounds of incredible Star Wars filled fun later, I had secured a place and a ticket to Fantasy Flight World Championships. To say I was surprised would be an understatement; I was over the moon. I was incredibly thankful for the wonderful day but also a bit out of it (it was 1 AM at this point). With trophy in hand and ticket secured, my thoughts moved toward the World Championships next month.

Thoughts on the List:

-In the early rounds, the Wampa really hadn’t done too much for me, but I was still happy to have him as part of my team as opposed to some other filler. In the later rounds, however, he really shone. The more activations you have to threaten massive damage, the better, especially when Wild Fury/Beast Tamer is a possibility.

-Continuing on the above theme, Pummel may end up being a very good fit for the deck. Two attacks out of nowhere is pretty powerful, and Beast Tamer allows for much better synergy. I felt as though Primary Target was often a let down for this list; the HKs were often already focused and it’s not very flexible.

-I attribute no small part of my successes to Devious Scheme. You literally start the game in the most optimal position possible (well, at least having the chance to) and have initiative on the all important second turn.

-Direct damage was the defining factor pretty much all of my matchups. Whether it was the automatic cleave of the Nexu or the Bantha running things over, these two beasts were the keys for my list defeating Zillo lists.

-Greedo was great on all of the maps, able to capture distant terminals on the first turn and threaten the Inquisitor with huge damage each shot. Even if he dies quickly, he hits like a truck every time. I expect him to be a staple in many of the lists I create.

Final Shoutouts!

-To each and every one of my opponents for being absolute gentleman and good sports. Even when the dice were against them, all of my opponents were class acts.

-Good Games for hosting the event and doing an excellent job!

-Fantasy Flight Games for creating a wonderful skirmish based Star Wars game that allows me to relive my childhood.

-Adem for giving me my practice game and walking with me as we both learned the game.

-My girlfriend for bearing with me as I pedantically stressed over the my team up until the day of the event.

-All of my readers, for reading through to the end!

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